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If you don’t want to end up in a nasty situation on any overlanding trip, you must be very well prepared. But, unfortunately, it might be too late when you figure out that you left something vital at home or that you came ill-prepared in the first place.
In this article, we will walk you through five overlanding accessories we deem unmissable in a good overlanding setup, including the choice for a great energy source for your 4×4 vehicle, which will also double as your home away from home.
Must-Have Overlanding Accessories: A First Aid Kit
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When you go overlanding, you will drive further and further away from civilization and, with that, emergency medical services. Therefore, you need to become self-reliant and be prepared to end up in a situation where emergency services are hours away from your location.
This means you need to make sure to pack the right first aid kit essentials. SurviveWare has a great one you can use. Apart from bringing them with you, you need to make sure you know how to use them properly. Getting some form of wilderness medical training is not an excessive luxury and will always come in handy at some point.
Store your first aid kit in a location where you can snag it in an instant. Using a quick-release panel could be very useful, especially if your kit is stored in a hard case. And don’t forget to mark the spot where your kit is located on the outside of your vehicle. Just in case you are out of range or hurt and someone else needs to retrieve the equipment from your truck. You don’t want to be searching for it while in an emergency.
If you do end up in a situation where a search and rescue team needs to find you to extract you, there are several items you should pack that make you easier to locate, like an emergency light source in your first aid kit and a whistle. Blowing a whistle is a lot less stressful than screaming at the top of your lungs for an extended period of time, so add that to your list of needed overlanding accessories.
The Means to Recovery
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When you go overlanding, you need to prepare to get stuck as you or a member of your team most likely will at some point in your trip. A well thought out recovery kit is one of those things you can’t live without when you go overlanding. We recommend that you bring a GearAmerica Off-Road Recovery Kit.
Make sure you have a winch, tow rope and cables of decent 4×4 quality to aid you. If you don’t have anyone with you to possibly pull you out of a mud puddle, the power puller is your lifesaver.
Apart from getting stuck, having a jack and some essential repair tools available in your truck to allow you to do the basic repairs in the field will always come in handy. Since something is undoubtedly going to break. For the same reason, never forget the duct tape, it usually comes in as a temporary lifesaver when making quick emergency repairs.
Must-Have Overlanding Accessories: The Right Tires
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There are a lot of different off-road tires to choose from, and making the right choice in off-road tires is vital for both the on- and off-road behavior of your 4×4. You can then subdivide this into real mud tires or tires to conquer rocky areas.
If you drive more on the paved road, then a less intense tire is essential, a kind of intermediate, for example, an A-T (all-terrain) tire. The All-Terrain tire is the most popular 4×4 tire in the 4×4 tire range, simply because they are the most all-round.
With most 4×4 tires, you can also drive well in the snow, indicated by a triangular snowflake symbol on the side of the tire. As a result, you do not necessarily need winter tires which saves you an extra purchase and storage space at the same time.
The larger the tire size and the coarser the profile of the 4×4 tires that you have under your four-wheel-drive vehicle, the more fuel consumption will also increase. The noise made by the tires also increases. Anyway, it looks thick and helps you get where you need to be or want to be.
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Nowadays, we can do almost everything with our phones and other smart gadgets, but there will undoubtedly come a time when the battery is empty, or you are out of range, causing the connection to falter. In that case, you’ll appreciate having an old-fashioned paper map with you that tells you how to finish your ride before night falls and keep you out of tricky situations.
It’s also worth the money to invest in a map specifically for overlanding and off-road use. The United States Forest Service (USFS) Roads and Trails indicate the well-maintained routes, 4×4 trails, backroads, and the little-known paths across U.S. national forests and grasslands. This map can help you find those hidden gems of trails that most digital maps won’t help you find.
Best Overlanding Accessories: The Right Power Source for the Job
You can have the best-prepared 4×4, but you won’t get anywhere without a battery. The battery provides sufficient power when the alternator cannot supply enough, such as winching or starting the engine. There are standard batteries, but we recommend the Briter Products Lithium-Ion batteries if you really want to upgrade.
The high-powered 12Volt 100Amp Briter Lithium-Ion batteries have a much longer life expectancy than your average standard 4×4 battery because of their depth of discharge, which is 80-90% compared to the 50% of your regular batteries.
To make things even easier for you, you can check the state of charge at all times in Briter’s unique LCD screen or even monitor it from your phone through the Bluetooth option. In addition, they can charge much faster than a standard battery.
These batteries are serviceable and can be reset with new parts to ensure you get the maximum life expectancy out of them up to 5,000 cycles, so this is among the overlanding accessories that keep on giving and giving!
And despite all of these features, they will fit almost anywhere as they are available in size class 27 or 31. They carry a 5-year standard warranty, with an additional warranty available for FMCA members.
If you have an RV or a trailer, having Briter Products batteries installed will give you even further peace of mind. I have two of these batteries in my Turtleback Expedition trailer, and they provide me with all the power I need (and then some!) to run the trailer’s lights, electrical outlets for charging devices, the water pump, and so forth.
And while these batteries are more expensive up front than traditional AGM batteries, the aforementioned life expectancy of up to 5,000 cycles and the fact they are completely serviceable to extend their lifespan makes them a bargain in the long run!
Bonus Item: A Diesel Heater
If you want to extend your family camping adventures into the colder months, a heater is a must-have.
Of course, you want to be warm but safe, too, which is why the Planar Heaters Portable Diesel Air Heater is such a great option!
As you can see in the image above, the unit stays outside, which minimizes the chances of carbon monoxide in your tent, camper, or RV. But don’t worry – the unit is built like a tank and can withstand rain, sleet snow, and whatever else Mother Nature throws at it!
With the ability to run off of diesel or kerosene (and 12V power), you have flexibility in terms of how you run the heater. And since it has a silencer, you can be warm and not be disturbed all night by a loud heater!
Other features include a wired remote, excellent portability, great fuel efficiency, and the ability to work in high-altitude situations.
In other words, it’s the perfect addition to your winter camping kit!